John Bull

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noun

England; the English people.
the typical Englishman.

Origin of John Bull

1705–15; named after John Bull, chief character in Arbuthnot's allegory The History of John Bull (1712)

Related forms

John Bullish, adjectiveJohn Bullishness, nounJohn Bullism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for john bull

  • I could not fancy his smiling generous John-Bull face clouded with the seriousness of a refusal.

    The Quadroon|Mayne Reid
  • There's no John-Bull feeling among our set, and we 're paying a smart price for it.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II)|Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for john bull

John Bull

noun

a personification of England or the English people
a typical Englishman

Derived Forms

John Bullish, adjectiveJohn Bullishness, nounJohn Bullism, noun

Word Origin for John Bull

C18: name of a character intended to be representative of the English nation in The History of John Bull (1712) by John Arbuthnot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for john bull

John Bull

A figure who stands for England in literary and political satire and in cartoons. John Bull is a stout, feisty man, often shown in a suit made out of the British flag.


Note

John Bull is the British equivalent of the United States' symbol (see also symbol) Uncle Sam.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.